Thursday, June 18, 2015

Dole Whip Floats

Back in 2011, one of my favorite cousins was living in LA but getting ready to move to Texas. In order to take advantage of her LA status one last time, my sister and I went out to visit her for a week over the summer. On our itinerary was a visit to Disneyland and California Adventure. The main reason we were keen on going was to see the World of Color show (which was amazing) but we were also pretty keen on having some fun theme park food. (By the way, the Fantasmic show is also awesome.)

We made a list of foods we had to try, which we compiled after some internet research. The list included turkey legs and giant pickles - both were consumed and enjoyed - but the one I was most excited about was the Dole Whip Floats. I'm a huge fan of pineapple (I love most tropical and summery fruits: coconut, mango, guava, passionfruit, etc.) and it was a warm day so a frozen treat was definitely in order. We all opted for the floats (instead of the plain Dole Whip) because we were looking for something to simultaneously cool us down and quench our thirsts and it was awesome.

Since I have no immediate plans to visit any of the Disney parks (though if I did, I'd want to go to Euro Disney and also eat my way through France again), I opted to try my hand at making a batch of Dole Whip Floats at home. Because it's been four years since I had the real thing, I honestly have no idea if these come close. What I do know is that this homemade version is still friggin' delicious.
Ingredients [yields 4 to 6 floats]:
20 oz. can crushed pineapple in juice (not in heavy syrup)
1 teaspoon lime zest
½ teaspoon lemon zest
juice of 1 lime
½ cup sugar
1½ cups heavy cream
46 oz. can pineapple juice
+ pineapple or coconut rum (for a grownup option)
The happiest place on earth!

So the thing is, Dole Whip is made in a soft serve ice cream machine, which means that it can be dairy-free and completely vegan and still come out deliciously velvety and smooth. Now, I don't know about you but I do not have a soft serve ice cream machine at home. So, I had to try and come up with a way to get a similarly creamy and soft texture and I would say I succeeded (albeit my version is not dairy-free and therefore not vegan). The only caveat is that this is a treat that must be enjoyed on the same day that it's made, but it's not a big deal because it's so good, it shouldn't last that long anyway.
Start by adding a can of crushed pineapple - juice and all -into a blender along with lime zest, lemon zest, lime juice, and sugar. Puree until smooth.
Stir in some heavy cream. By the way, I made the mistake of allowing the blender to do the mixing and left it buzzing for way too long, which allowed the cream to become butter and there were little solid butter globules floating around the pineapple puree, which was gross. Do not make the same mistake I did. Briefly pulse the blender to combine or manually stir in the cream.
Pour the pineapple cream into an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Because the juice content is high, the sorbet will look a little chunky but rest assured, it will feel smooth and melt beautifully in your mouth.

To mimic the swirl of a soft serve machine, put the Dole whip into plastic baggie or piping bag. If it's a particularly warm day, you might need to pop it into the freezer for a little to set it up some more.
To assemble the Dole whip floats, start by grabbing a chilled glass and chilled pineapple juice. Pour about 1 cup of juice into the glass.
Swirl the Dole whip on top of the juice. It helps if you make a "base" but swirling around the outside of the glass.
Top with a cherry, pop in a straw, and serve immediately.
Personally, I like to sip a little juice and then eat a little Dole whip and then eventually stir the whole thing together. It's incredibly bright and sweet and the pineapple flavor is so punchy and makes you feel like you're on holiday, even if you're just hanging out at home sticking to the couch. It's the perfect cool down treat for a hot summer day and the citrus just gives it an added brightness and a more tropical feel.
If you're feeling cheeky, you can also make this into a delicious alcoholic beverage with a little flavored rum. For a bit of a piña colada feel, use coconut rum. To remain a purist, go for some pineapple rum. Stir the rum into the pineapple juice before topping with the Dole whip. To distinguish between the grown up drinks and the kid-friendly drinks, top the adult beverages with a cocktail umbrella.
Here's the recipe page:

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